Regardless of the status of their French operations, it's crucial for foreign companies to understand their local tax obligations and ensure they meet the filing deadlines to avoid any penalties.
French regulation and administration is notoriously complex. And while President Emmanuel Macron's reforms are now underway, the country still ranks as the 6th most complex in the world for accounting and tax compliance.
Regardless of the status of their French operations, it's crucial for foreign companies to understand their local tax obligations and ensure they meet their filing deadlines.
Here are some specific 2018 tax deadline dates in France, and requirements for key sectors.
Looking for details on a tax not listed below? Get in touch with our experts for more specific information.
ECO contribution (ecological taxation)
This contribution is used to cover the cost of household and industrial waste disposal for electric and electronic goods. Producers or distributors of electric or electronic goods, who are the first economic agent to bring the good to the French market, are subject to the French eco tax. This also includes distance sellers.
Filing deadline: 28 February of the following year
Penalty: The maximum penalty for late or erroneous declarations is €7,500 per missing ton.
Contribution on household waste (packing tax)
The contribution on household waste covers the cost of recycling all packages thrown away by individuals, and is due by all companies which first bring to the French market packaged products; consumed or used by households. The declaration should specify all the details on the packaging (different materials, quantity, weight etc.)
Filing deadline: The declaration must be submitted on 28 February at the latest, and paid before 30 April each year.
Penalty: Just like the eco tax, the maximum penalty for late or erroneous declarations is €7,500 per missing ton.
TGAP (general tax on polluting activities)
The French TGAP is due by companies that have polluting activities in France, such as stock or transfer of dangerous waste, polluting emissions, sale of detergents, lubricants, mined or quarried materials. Each polluting activity follows its own tax rate.
Filing deadline: Three prepayments must be made during the year, then the final declaration and the final payment deadline is 31 May.
Penalty: Late submissions are subject to penalties which are one-to-two times the total amount of tax due.
The pharmaceutical tax is due by companies in the pharmaceutical industries with operations in France. There are various categories of pharmaceutical taxes depending on the activity performed, such as:
- tax on wholesale
- tax on promotional expenses
- tax on direct sales
- tax on annual increase of sales
- tax on medicines against Hepatitis C.
Each tax category has its own exemptions, calculation of the taxable base and its specific applicable tax rates.
Filing deadline: A prepayment must be calculated, declared and paid on 1 June of the current year. The regularisation must be calculated, declared and paid before the 1 March of the following year.
Penalty: Late or erroneous declarations are penalised by a fine of €750 (which may be doubled if the delay of submission exceeds one month). Late payments are subject to penalties equal to 5% of the missing amount, and interest of 0.4% for each month of delay.
The 'taux Lv/Lh' contribution
This contribution is another category of the pharmaceuticals taxes. The contribution taux Lv/Lh is based on the French sales of medicines to hospitals and pharmacies.
Filing deadline: Declarations must be submitted before 1 April of the following year; then payment must be made by 1 July at the latest.
Penalty: Applicable penalties are the same as other pharmaceutical taxes.
Tax on company vehicles (TVS)
Subject to this tax are companies with a French establishment that own vehicles, mainly used to transport individuals (ie. non-commercial vehicles) or have them in long term rental. The cost of this tax depends on the power of the car.
Filing deadline: The TVS is calculated quarterly and is declared in January of the following year.
Penalty: Late submission sees an additional charge of 10% of amounts due; Late payment will see the company subject to an additional 5% of amounts due.
Audio visual contribution
Any professional who owns a television set in France is subject to the French audio visual contribution.
Filing deadline: This contribution is declared on the French VAT return, and follows the timeline of the company's VAT obligations (monthly, quarterly, annually). It is to be paid on 25 April at the latest.
Penalty: Late submission sees an additional charge of 10% of amounts due. Late payment: 5% of amounts due.
Talk to us
TMF France's expert team can assist companies with temporary or permanent operations in the country, to meet their tax – including VAT – reporting deadlines, and file correctly with the relevant authorities.
Need more information? Make an enquiry with us today.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.